Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band – Bluejeans And Moonbeams

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About the best one can say about 1974’s Bluejeans & Moonbeams is that it’s not as bad as his other release of the year, Unconditionally Guaranteed. In fact, there are two tracks, the pretty reverie “Observatory Crest” and the stomping blues-rocker “Party of Special Things to Do,” that are actually quite good. The rest of the album, however, is fairly dire. Recorded with anonymous studio musicians who are clearly out of their league and glossed to a soul-less polish by producer Andy DiMartino, Bluejeans & Moonbeams never catches fire even at its best, and its worst tracks — those would be “Pompadour Swamp” and the utterly wretched proto-disco “Captain’s Holiday” — are the worst things that have ever borne the Captain Beefheart name. Captain Beefheart would eventually return with the revitalized Shiny Beast (Bat Chain Puller) in 1978, but Bluejeans & Moonbeams sounds like a tired and cynical make-work project.

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